GROWING SUPPORT FOR CREATION OF NEW FIJI

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POLITICAL PARTY

SUVA, Fiji (March 24, 1998 - Radio Australia)---There is growing support for the formation of a new political party in the Fiji province of Ba.

Radio Australia Pacific correspondent Richard Dinnen reports the new party could play a crucial role after Fiji's next election.

"The Ba Provincial Council and chiefs in the province are keen to start a party that will represent their interests at the national level.

"Ba is one of Fiji's biggest provinces and a major contributor to the economy, but there's a feeling the Government has not done enough for the area.

"The chiefs of Ba want a stronger voice at the national level, and at least two Government ministers are involved in a think tank which is studying proposals to form the new party.

"The chiefs want the party set up to contest the next election in 1999.

"The party's appeal to provincialism is likely to strike a chord with voters, and give it enough seats to be a useful coalition partner to the next government.

"Richard Dinnen, Suva, Fiji."

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